Friday, March 14, 2014

Questions of Fact as to Whether Injured Worker "Unreasonably Chose" to Use a Particular Ladder

In Morato-Rodriguez v. Riva Constr. Group, Inc., the plaintiff testified that he used the only ladder available on the floor, which was located near his foreman's toolbox.  As he was standing on the ladder it wobbled and he fell, causing him injury.  The foreman attested that he instructed plaintiff not to use that particular ladder, that there were two "sturdy" ladders available on the floor and that he told plaintiff to sweep the floor until a safe ladder was available.  On these facts, the First Department reversed partial summary judgment on liability in favor of the plaintiff pursuant to Labor Law 240(1) and denied the plaintiff's motion, finding that questions of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff "unreasonably chose" not to use a different ladder, thereby causing his injury. 

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